Eastman connects chemistry with biochemistry to serve the animal nutrition industry.

Source: Eastman via Feedinfo interview

Eastman is known for its broad organic acids portfolio and trusted gut health and feed hygiene tools. Sandeep Bangaru, the company’s general manager for animal nutrition, explains that Eastman also has remarkable research and development assets to address the many challenges the industry faces. The company has added to its feed additives portfolio and industry expertise through acquisitions and organic growth. Its strength comes from a commitment to meet customers where they are, backed by a unique ability to connect chemistry with biochemistry to create tailored, innovative solutions.

What are Eastman's ambitions in animal nutrition?

Sandeep Bangaru: The industry is going through big changes, such as the move away from antibiotics and other materials of concern. It also faces uncertainty in international trade and supply chains, pressures in biosecurity and hygiene control, and the call to improve the environmental footprint of production operations. There is also a need to make livestock farming more sustainable and animal friendly.

Describe Eastman’s animal nutrition portfolio? Where are the best growth opportunities?

Bangaru: We have one of the broadest portfolios of organic acids and are one of the largest global suppliers. Our organic acids and derivatives are used in many applications––from preservation and hygiene to acidification. We also provide essential nutrients with our choline chloride stream. We see an opportunity to connect chemistry with biochemistry to accelerate new product innovation.

We help customers understand how and why our feed additives work in the animal, how they combat issues across poultry and swine, and how they should be formulated in the diet. It will also be important to develop new products and technologies to help customers prevent and solve specific animal challenges.

What will Eastman’s animal nutrition investments focus on in coming years?

Bangaru: We've seen a proliferation of new technologies in the industry. With the move away from antibiotics, the industry has seen a proliferation of additive categories. Customers tell us they would appreciate a better understanding of how these additives work. A major focus will be investments in mode-of-action platforms that create transparency for customers.

Each farm and producer has different environmental and input factors and configurations. Customers have unique needs when deploying diets and new ingredients. This complex industry means you must have a customer-centric approach. Investing in flexible manufacturing and tailored solutions at the customer level is important.

Eastman can be an innovation partner for customers. We can connect application knowledge with chemistry expertise and our technology streams to develop new derivatives. That’s where we can add a lot of value to the industry.

Why did Eastman acquired 3F Feed & Food?

Bangaru: 3F Feed & Food has had a lot of success over the past two decades with a portfolio that spans acidifiers, gut health additives, and drinking-water additive programs. They have an agile, state-of-the-art production facility and can design and develop programs with customers and deploy them very rapidly. The 3F team has brought a lot of great capabilities under the Eastman umbrella. That, along with our application platforms and technology, is a powerful combination.

Give us an overview of how Eastman has grown in this space.

Bangaru: We have a long history with our oxo and acetyl streams and a foundation in the organic acids from those streams. We acquired Taminco in 2014 and an additional portfolio based on amines and organic acids.

We entered a commercial relationship with Sanluc in 2020. This further expanded our portfolio into gut health additives by adding fat-coated, butyrate-based products. In 2021, we acquired 3F.

In the last year, Eastman organically added 15 new professionals with more than 150 years on industry experience to our global animal nutrition team. While much of our historic footprint has been in Europe, we’ve begun building critical mass in North America and Asia Pacific. These are two regions where the broader Eastman company has a large presence and lab capabilities.

What makes Eastman’s innovation in animal nutrition stand out?

Bangaru: Connecting chemistry with biochemistry and nutritional understanding is a fairly unique combination we can bring.

No one molecule will address all future gut health and digestive disorder needs. We will need a combination of several effective molecules. To bring these solutions to the market, you need to work with customers to develop and test solutions in real production conditions at a large scale. You also need the right manufacturing capabilities and flexibility.

Real value chain collaboration will be a key to making this successful. Developing tools in isolation and pushing them out to customers won’t be effective. Eastman is taking a collaborative and open approach to innovation. It’s an approach we've used in many different markets. We're eager to work with customers and have already started this type of joint development and collaboration and hope to continue it in all regions.